Why Do So Few Citizens Join the US Military?
The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is the nation’s largest employer. In fiscal year 2005 alone, DoD planned to recruit 168,861 people to active duty and succeeded in recruiting 163,259 people. That number is somewhat lower than in recent years, primarily because the Air Force is dramatically reducing recruiting in FY 2005 as part of a force-shaping initiative, while the Army fell 6,627 recruits short of its goal. In addition to the magnitude of these personnel requirements, the military services also confront a complex system of legal and policy constraints that exclude a substantial proportion of potential recruits from enlisting. Those constraints include age limits, mental and physical minimum standards, educational and moral requirements.
This paper estimates the number and percent of military-age civilians, age 18-23 who meet, and do not meet, the current active duty enlistment standards for Dependents, Education, Aptitude, Moral Character, Drug-use, Body Composition and Medical for the four major armed services (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps), using data from several articles and reports as well as National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys that Span 1959-2008. This apper finds that the percent of civilian military-age men and women who satisfy current military enlistment standards is significantly below what is expected. This is due to an increase moral character violations, drug-use, and in an increase in who are both overweight and overfat. In addition while the over the past 100 years, Americans' mean IQ has been on a slow but steady climb, American high school students who took the SAT showed a sharp decline in their average performance. Overweight and overfat individuals roughly doubled for men and more than tripled for women between 1959-62 and 2007-08. As of 2007-08, 5.7 million men (11.70%) and 16.5 million women (34.65%) of military age exceed the U.S. Army’s enlistment standards for weight-for-height and percent body fat. The implications of rising obesity for the U.S. military are especially acute given its recent difficulties in recruiting a sufficient number of new high quality service members in the midst of combat operations overseas.
The purpose of this paper was to review the literature, statistics and historical data to determine what current research says about the reasons so few people join the US military
Problem with Hypothesis
It is this paper’s hypothesis that so few US citizens join the Military because so many US citizens do not meet initial qualifications based on Dependents, Education, Aptitude, Moral Character, Drug-use, Body Composition and Medical issues.
This paper consisted of research on Military requires, US population percentages, size of US households, US education levels, US law violations, US Drug use averages, US body composition and prevalent medical issues in the US.
The majority of the data presented shows that initial qualifications to join the US Military are so stringent it will preclude most people from joining. When all the requirements are considered, while thousands of motivated young people want to join the ranks only about two out of 10 young people are fully eligible to join the Army without any waivers.
Title of Paper: Why Do So Few Citizens Join the US Military?
Evidence suggests that of the over 316M people in the United States between 3 and 5 percent of the population serve in the armed forces (Hackett, 2012). The US Military is an all-volunteer service so they must recruit service members. Many other countries in the world are also voluntary but there are also many where service is mandatory. If we include paramilitary and reserves, it looks like most countries have about three times the regular army. In the world population of Military, including paramilitary and